Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ina Dews Donates Quilts to Illinois Museum

Ina Dews of Elgin, Illinois has donated three quilts to the Illinois State Museum, which already had nearly 400 quilts in its collection, according to Irene Boyer, the museum's decorative arts registrar. Interestingly, between five and 20 quilts are donated each year to the museum - and until Ina Dews' donation, not a single quilt - not one! - in the state's collection was made by an African-American quilter, according to a 4/29/08 Daily Herald newspaper article! The three quilts are queen-sized ones. Two were made by Ms. Dews' aunts from Texas and one Ms. Dews made when she was a teenager, according to the article. (Photo from the museum's website.)
I think its wonderful that the three quilts donated by Ms. Ina Dews will be preserved for generations future!

I do also wish that other African American quilts will proactively be included in the Illinois State Museum collection. Heck, Illinois is one of the top 10 states with the highest African American population. Is there an opportunity to preserve quilts from the Busy Fingers Sewing Club of Alton, IL? This African American guild started in 1948. Or, how about the Needles and Threads Quilters Guild of Chicago, which was founded in 1992 and continues today? Just a thought.

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